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Electrical contractor 37 years. Electrical inspector 2 years
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Many many years ago there was an article in the home section of a local newspaper. It dealt with a homeowner who was having work done in her house and one of the workers asked to use the bathroom. She was a bit surprised and did not know what to say . She was uncomfortable but said yes. This question to the newspaper led into an article about contractors etiquette. This was a basic dos and don't s and reasons why. In 40 years I probably used the customers bathroom maybe 12 times and only for people I knew well. Fortunately where I am we are rarely more than 10 / 15 minutes from a Home Depot or other supply house, or some public bathroom. What is the consensus here about using a customer's facilities? I just hired someone who drinks a lot of water, 64oz plus per day and you know what that means. 4 times in one day. I wonder what the homeowner was thinking. He is young and like a little kid I told him to go before we left and while we were at the supply house but as soon as we show up at the house, nature calls. He tied into the homeowners wifi and Sonos speakers for his music. He is a very polite kid and always asks the homeowner before he does anything. After work I explained what I remembered from the etiquette article but he did not understand what was wrong as long as he asked. Has etiquette changed and I am stuck in the old way of doing things?
 

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Estwing magic
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I normally do Home Depot. If it’s a hot steamer, I definitely give it to Home Depot. I might do a quick pee at a customer’s place if the bathroom is right there.

I was working on a small commercial job last month and I heard a noise in the bathroom. I was supposed to be there alone. I peeked over the partition wall and there was a guy sitting on the chitter. The water wasn’t turned on. :( He was from the job next door. His boss walked in and turned on the water so they could flush the toilet. Complete morons. Maybe the plumber had it turned off for a reason. I always do a test flush first and would never think of going onto another site without asking to use their facilities.
 

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I have pooped in a bag and bucket in my truck a dozen times, no big deal. :giggle:
I have a gallon ziplock with a roll of TP and some kitchen garbage bags tucked away in the cab of my truck for such occasions.
Keep a 2' piece of 6" PVC in your truck, it will be around long after a bucket disappears. :confused:
I typically won't pee on the ground unless I'm way out in the wild somewhere. Ill pee in a water bottle or a cup and then dump it in the bushes or cap the bottle and throw it away when Ican.
 

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This is especially relevant when your daughter works for you. Back then I had to have a bucket and toilet paper in the trailer.

When it’s just me. If I don’t eat breakfast, I wouldn’t need to crap. But peeing is not an option.

On a house build, the GC or HO should have a porta john on site. Otherwise they will have half a dozen guys pissing around their new house for months.
 

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Electrical contractor 37 years. Electrical inspector 2 years
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have pooped in a bag and bucket in my truck a dozen times, no big deal. :giggle:
I have a gallon ziplock with a roll of TP and some kitchen garbage bags tucked away in the cab of my truck for such occasions.
Keep a 2' piece of 6" PVC in your truck, it will be around long after a bucket disappears. :confused:
I typically won't pee on the ground unless I'm way out in the wild somewhere. Ill pee in a water bottle or a cup and then dump it in the bushes or cap the bottle and throw it away when Ican.
I am glad I have a box truck and I also keep a five gallon bucket with plastic garbage bags and TP.
 

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Caught the crabs once while in the navy aboard ship.

40 years later I still won’t use someone else’s washroom.

And BTW, don’t open the medicine cabinet in my house, it might be filled with ping pong balls.
Motor vehicle Automotive tire Wood Bumper Floor
 

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Customer etiquette is a thing too. If they don’t tell me where the bathroom is and have their stuff moved out of the way, I grumble (internally) and wonder who raised them.
I LOVE THIS ITS LIKE "HEY" IF YOU DONT WANT TO APPRECIATE ME FIXING YOUR PROBLEMS AND MAKING YOUR FAMILIES LIFE SAFE WHEN THEY SLEEP !" enough to allow me as the person tending to those issues to piss thats bs. but taking a gangster in there is a totally different monster!!! IMO
 

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I did a 10 P.M. to 6 A.M power outage to P.M. the incoming 34kv switchgear at the US Patent Office in Alexandria, Virginia. Beautiful almost new modern building.
Sky Building Cloud Daytime Plant


Spent about an hour doing switching and lockout. The whole time my tummy was gurgling. I ditched the building engineer and told him I would meet him in the electrical room. Ran to a dark, except the Exit light mens room. Greatly relieved because I had to work all night. Relieved until I realized the modern auto-flush commode didn't work without power.
 

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I believe around here you are required to have access to the owners bathroom or a port-a-let must be installed. That is the builders responsibility.

I know a plumber who will use the bathroom of a homeowner if he just needs to pee but will otherwise leave the job and find a bathroom somewhere. Some people cannot poop on command so there should be a toilet available on the job. My builders always asked the homeowner if it was okay to use their bathroom otherwise a port-a- let was installed.
 

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When i was rewiring apartment buildings we usually were able to ask one of the tenants to use their bathrooms if there wasn't an extra bathroom or at least a sink in the storage room. I'm not pooping in a tenant's bathroom so if there wasn't one in the basement it was time to find the closest corner store or something. Parking in the city is a real pain but at least there was usually something within a 5min walk.
I doubt that the boss factors that into the bid but that's just the price of doing business IMO.
 

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So my colleague at work trains for strongman and has hopes of going pro. So part of his whole work out and diet regiment is an obscene amount of water. There's days I swear he pees more often than my pregnant wife. On the other hand there are days that I'll have a cup of coffee in the morning and that's the only thing I put in my body until dinner. Not healthy but I don't have to pee all day.
 

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We done a job at a Vegetarian lady's house. She was gone a lot. My helper had gas really bad after lunch. When she came home, she said what is that smell. She was looking all around the house. I'm guessing she had never smelled a meat eaters fart.
Finally, I said mam we did cut sheetrock in a couple places I think a mouse might have died in there. So, she quit looking around then.
We patched the holes and moved on...
 

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Electrical contractor 37 years. Electrical inspector 2 years
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I believe around here you are required to have access to the owners bathroom or a port-a-let must be installed. That is the builders responsibility.

I know a plumber who will use the bathroom of a homeowner if he just needs to pee but will otherwise leave the job and find a bathroom somewhere. Some people cannot poop on command so there should be a toilet available on the job. My builders always asked the homeowner if it was okay to use their bathroom otherwise a port-a- let was installed.
No builder on site. It was a service change. Most GCs now supply a Porta Jon. It’s only $25.00 per week so they can splurge.
 

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Chief Flunky
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Many many years ago there was an article in the home section of a local newspaper. It dealt with a homeowner who was having work done in her house and one of the workers asked to use the bathroom. She was a bit surprised and did not know what to say . She was uncomfortable but said yes. This question to the newspaper led into an article about contractors etiquette. This was a basic dos and don't s and reasons why. In 40 years I probably used the customers bathroom maybe 12 times and only for people I knew well. Fortunately where I am we are rarely more than 10 / 15 minutes from a Home Depot or other supply house, or some public bathroom. What is the consensus here about using a customer's facilities? I just hired someone who drinks a lot of water, 64oz plus per day and you know what that means. 4 times in one day. I wonder what the homeowner was thinking. He is young and like a little kid I told him to go before we left and while we were at the supply house but as soon as we show up at the house, nature calls. He tied into the homeowners wifi and Sonos speakers for his music. He is a very polite kid and always asks the homeowner before he does anything. After work I explained what I remembered from the etiquette article but he did not understand what was wrong as long as he asked. Has etiquette changed and I am stuck in the old way of doing things?
Two issues here. The first one is always follow the golden rule, in this case act like how you would wAnt a contractor to treat your spouse and kids. If you don’t want that person acting a certain way, you should not do it either,

Second this is a job where often we have to supply everything ourselves and often we are “roughing it”. As a contractor pretty quickly you get used to urinating just about anywhere More than once I’ve also made use of shop towels and a trash bag, buckets being optional. The back of a van or truck or opening two side doors may be your only options. Similarly always carry a bug out bag and overnight bag. Don’t plan on meals having access to a microwave or fast food and don’t plan on always sleeping in your own bed, or any bed. And plan on getting nasty when you don’t expect it, or the weather report being wrong.

So you start to think of indoor plumbing as a modern convenience as a contractor, not a necessity. And others have it much worse than electrical contractors. Think of divers for instance in dry suits.

Once you get the “roughing it” idea in your head though it’s hard think they other way. Once you are used to going anywhere it is far more convenient to use a bush than to go through a long complicated effort to handle a simple nature call.

My personal downfall is thinking the job will
Be quick and I can hold a nature call until after the job is done.
 
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